As the Anzac Day dawn service commenced yesterday at Gallipoli, a reciprocal commemoration began in Wellington at the Atatürk Memorial.
Located on a Miramar Peninsula clifftop, it is a powerfully symbolic site chosen for its resemblance to the Gallipoli coastline. Consequently the Chaplain remarked that being here was the next best thing to being there, 17,000kms away. As I heard this from the fringe of the packed crowd, unable to see any of the ceremony, I realised he was right.
The First World War centenary commemorations are gathering much steam here especially in the approach to ANZAC Day later this month. Back in August, to mark the start of WW1 and very close to where NZ’s declaration of war was made on 5 August 1914, a Field of Remembrance was created in the grounds of parliament.
Clearly not a creed followed by all families.
Today we took Mike’s boys and our bikes to Queen Elizabeth Park on the Kapiti Coast.
Another year has been archived and a shiny new one has started.
2014 was great in many ways but all in all, I’m glad it’s goneburger. I’m proud of the odds and sods of travel that I achieved though the majority has yet to make it into this blog. I need to find a faster way of posting! Anyhoo, I’ll keep chipping away and in the meantime there’s new stuff to plan and do.
A big thanks for reading and at times providing the motivation to keep this labour of love going! Happy New Year – I hope 2015 is good to you 🙂
Wellington Harbour from Seatoun, New Year’s Day 2015
If you want to get up close and personal with Wellington’s rugged terrain in a civilised fashion and at the same time be rewarded with stunning vistas, moments of peace and beauty in the beautiful town belt and a sprinkling of heritage finds, then the Southern Walkway is for you. Read more
John Plimmer was one of Wellington’s founding fathers. In the mid-1800s his property was on a hillside with access down to what was then coastline, and what is now the shopping ‘golden mile’ of Lambton Quay. That path became immortalised into the Plimmer Steps. Mid-way up these steps, dwarfed by the concrete jungle it has silently witnessed rising up, is Plimmer’s Oak, still standing where John Plimmer planted the acorn in his garden.
After I moved to Wellington 11 years ago I took myself out exploring to get acquainted with the place. One such outing was to Makara Beach, on the south-western coast, for I walk I’d read about – over farmland up to coastal gun emplacements.
It was great – though very belatedly I read a sign which said there was to be no access during lambing season. Guess which season it was? Doh.
I returned to Makara a couple of times in the ensuing years but never ventured beyond the beach. Finally last year it seemed like a good idea to haul Mike and boys out there to repeat the walk.
Makara is a rugged beach with stones instead of sand
After a short walk hugging the beach we went inland and fairly quickly headed ‘up’. The up on this walk is a decent one which on this crisp clear autumn day this meant stunning views out to the Tasman.
Makara Beach in Ohariu Bay
I don’t normally get too close to spider webs – must’ve been feeling especially bold
A boy and a wind turbine
Getting started on the up bit
The gun emplacements are remnants of Fort Opau, a twin 6” battery established as part of our World War II coastal defence system. It became operational in 1942, though as with many such sites in NZ (thankfully), there transpired to be no invading forces to ever fire a shot at.
The guns were removed in 1944 (more than one year before WWII ended)
Inside the command post
Inside the observation post
Site of the old barracks
A rather prime position for a coastal battery
And yonder, a windfarm
The walkway can be tackled as a loop though I don’t think I realised that at the time. I’d like to go back and do that but this day we just retraced our earlier steps.
Down we go
Coming down is so much easier
No lambs were harmed in the making of this post.
A touch of winter along the Petone waterfront does not deter a morning stroll.
On Mondays I make an effort to leave work at a reasonable hour to walk home with Mike. In a month or so daylight savings will kick in here; in the meantime over the course of our waterfront journey I get to enjoy the transition from day to night, such as here around Oriental Bay.